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Published on December 30th, 2016 | by James Ayre


Autonomous Chevy Bolts To Be Manufactured At Orion Facility, GM CEO Mary Barra Says

December 30th, 2016 by  

Fully autonomous versions of the Chevy Bolt EV will be manufactured at the same Orion Township assembly plant where the current non-autonomous versions of the model are being manufactured, going by recent comments made by GM CEO Mary Barra.

The GM CEO (now part of President-elect Donald Trump’s Strategic and Policy Forum) also made the note that GM “will become the first high-volume auto manufacturer to build fully autonomous vehicles in a mass-production assembly plant” during a recent speech at GM headquarters.

Here are more of her comments: “Revolutionizing transportation for our customers while improving safety on roads is the goal of our autonomous vehicle technology, and today’s announcement gets us one step closer to making this vision a reality. Our autonomous technology will be reliable and safe, as customers have come to expect from any of our vehicles.”

Our sister site Gas 2 provides more: “Workers at the Orion plant will add the technology needed to make the cars capable of autonomous driving. That includes installing radar, laser sensors, and cameras in addition to the computer to manage the input and the mechanical systems needed to accelerate, steer, and stop the cars. These new cars undergo testing in Michigan and will be included in the self-driving test fleets already in operation in San Francisco and Scottsdale.”

[Editor’s Note: You have to wonder how many Chevy Bolts GM plans to sell that are fully autonomous vs the normal, non-autonomous ones. And how much of the Bolt design came about with that in mind?]

And there’s this nice addendum: “Hopefully the production cars will not have the same roof mounted sensor array, which looks like something from the old TV show Lost In Space.”

As mentioned above, the government of Michigan recently completely legalized the testing of fully autonomous vehicles on public roads in the state. GM may have had a hand in that. Expect to see extensive testing of the technology there during the coming year.

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About the Author

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.

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